Jevena Thaxton missed a call from Community Colleges of Spokane athletic director Jim Fitzgerald earlier this month, but she had an inkling he was bearing good news.
The former University of Washington and Lewis and Clark High forward’s notion was affirmed when Fitzgerald’s voicemail-to-text inquired if she was still interested in leading the Sasquatch women’s basketball team, a job that went vacant in March when longtime coach Bruce Johnson stepped down.
Thaxton (formerly Anderson) swiftly made up her mind before the follow-up call with Fitzgerald, who was looking to replace Ryan Bodecker after the short-time CCS head coach recently accepted an athletic director position at Riverside High School in Chattaroy.
“He told me to think about and I said I would, but I already knew I wanted the job. I just didn’t want to sound too eager,” Thaxton joked.
The Northwest Athletic Conference member officially named the 29-year-old Thaxton head coach this week.
Thaxton’s coaching experience includes two years as an assistant at NCAA Division III Grinnell (Iowa) College and one season as the head coach at Regis Groff in Denver, leading the team to a 11-5 record in its inaugural season.
She is currently working as a wellness nurse at Pegasus Senior Living in Spokane. Thaxton is also a married mother of three.
“She has strong Northwest ties and will be a great leader of our women’s basketball program,” Fitzgerald said. “I also have to acknowledge Bruce Johnson and Ryan Bodecker for building the solid foundation and positive culture within our women’s basketball program. Both will be missed at CCS, but I know Jeneva is going to continue our focus on developing the entire student-athlete.”
The NWAC announced this month that its basketball season will be pushed to spring 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, giving Thaxton more time to acclimate to her new gig.
Thaxton was introduced to her team via Zoom video conference last week.
“I’ve always been a huge basketball person, following what’s going on in the Northwest and in the NWAC,” she said. “I’ve been formulating in my head for about seven years what I want in a college program.”
Thaxton starred at LC as a three-time All-Greater Spokane League selection and all-state honoree, helping the Tigers win two State 4A championships. She was a role player at UW and team captain as a senior.
“My big focus is always defense,” Thaxton said. “Offense, I’m free with it, but a structure with it. I’ll want to shorten the court, do most of the work on defense to make offense easier.”
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